The State Government will subsidise Victoria's sheep and goat industries in the move to the enhanced National Livestock Identification System, bringing the cost of tags down to $1.
Agriculture Minister Joe Helper said the price of electronic NLIS (sheep) tags would fall from $1.35 to $1 per tag effective immediately.
"The Brumby Government is taking action to support Victoria’s sheep producers by reducing the price of electronic tags which have dropped from $2.50 in September 2008 to today’s low price of $1," Mr Helper said.
"These electronic tags will strengthen Australia's reputation on the international export market, boosting future job opportunities within industry and provide better protection for Australia against sheep-borne diseases.
"Therefore it is important we make the price of these tags as affordable as possible and the Brumby Government has worked with industry and tag producers to reduce the price of these tags for Victoria’s farmers even further."
Mr Helper said for producers, transaction identification may impose inconvenience and additional expense because it means that each owner in the life of a sheep will need to attach an additional visually readable ear tag.
"SAFEMEAT however has agreed that if an electronic NLIS (sheep) tag is used by the breeder and the tag is scanned and the movement recorded on DPI’s database, then the purchaser will not need to attach an additional tag, when that sheep is again sold," he said.
"Lamb finishers form a significant part of Victoria’s sheepmeat supply chain.
"It is clear that they will not want to tag every lamb they buy and the Brumby Government is taking action to ensure producers within the supply chain have the option of using a single tag rather than multiple tags on each animal.
"This measure proves that Victoria is a leader in the implementation of electronic NLIS technology."
Mr Helper said wool growers and sheepmeat producers would still be able to apply for a State Government dollar-for-dollar grant of up to $2500 until June 30 to assist with the purchase of readers, software and technical support if they chose to use electronic NLIS (sheep) tags as a flock management tool.
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